Subject: RDTL: Statement to UN General Assembly

[scanned from originals, available from and checked against delivery]

Permanent Mission of the

Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste to the United Nations

866 Second Avenue, 9th Floor New York, N.Y. 10017

Tel:(1) 212 759 3675 / Fax: (1) 212 759 4196


Statement by H.E. Mr. Jose Luis Guterres

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Timor-Leste

at the 61st session

of the United Nations General Assembly

New York, 27th September 2006

[Unofficial translation from Portuguese through paragraph 13. Edited to conform more closely to text as delivered than the written one from the UN.]

Your Excellency Madame President of the UN General Assembly


Distinguished delegates

1- On behalf of President Xanana Gusmão and Prime Minister Jose Ramos-Horta, and the people of Timor-Leste, allow me to congratulate you on your election to preside over the 61st session of the General Assembly. Your experience and diplomatic competency will ensure the success of this session.

2- I would also like to congratulate your predecessor, H.E. Jan Eliasson of Sweden, for his critical role in the reform of the United Nations, including the creation of the Human Rights Council and the Peacebuilding Commission.

3- I would also like to extend my congratulation to their Excellencies, the Permanent Representatives and experts, for their positive contributions during the long and arduous negotiations. I take this opportunity to also congratulate H.E. the Ambassador of Angola, Gaspar Martins, for his election as President of the Peacebuilding Commission.

4- Allow me to extend Timor-Leste’s Government’s and people’s congratulations to the people and Government of Montenegro for its membership to the United Nations.


Distinguished delegates,

5- At the outset of this 61st session, a great son of Africa, H.E. Kofi Annan, delivered his last report as Secretary-General of our organization. In this complicated international landscape of the past 10 years, he and his team contributed significantly to the advancement of the noble ideals of the United Nations in the world, including his decisive contribution to the independence and liberation of my country, Timor-Leste.

Our people will never forget his decisive support and we wish much success to him and to Mrs. Nane Annan, whom we wish to honor for her contribution to the strengthening the role of women in the world and for the compassion shown to those who suffer.

Madame President

Distinguished delegates,

6- In July of this year, the Prime Minister of the First Constitutional Government, Mari Alkatiri, resigned from his post and a new Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta was sworn in.

7- Since our independence in May 2002 and until July of this year, significant gains were made in the construction of institutions of the State and in the creation of basic conditions to facilitate national and international investment.

The current Prime Minister, in his speech to the National Parliament the Prime Minister, José Ramos-Horta, reiterated his determination to implement the following policies

1. Community reconciliation

2. Consolidation of security and reform of the defense and security institutions

3. Legislative and presidential elections before May 2007

4. Poverty reduction and economic growth

5. Good governance

6. Finalization of the land border demarcation between the Republic of Indonesia and Timor-Leste

7. Ratification of the Agreement "Greater Sunrise" with Australia

8- The Government will continue to implement the National Development Plan which was initiated by the First Constitutional Government and to accomplish the Millennium the Development Goals as outlined at the Millennium summit in 2002.

In relation to the political plan, the Government in conjunction with the Presidency of the Republic, the National Parliament, political parties, religious institutions and civil society will hold a national dialogue to recapture the confidence lost by our State institutions.

9- Only yesterday, the Head of Government, Ramos-Horta, met with representatives of the armed forces that had been dismissed, the petitioners, to once again find a solution which is in conformity with the laws of our country and is acceptable to the various parties involved in this situation.

10- The Government of Timor-Leste is determined to proceed with the reform of the national security and defense institutions, namely Falintil-FDTL and the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL).

11- The National Police of Timor-Leste, an institution, whose mandate is the promotion of law and order partially disintegrated during the recent crisis. A first group of 25 members of the PNTL resumed duty this week under the mentoring scheme run by the UN Police in Timor-Leste. The reconstitution of the PNTL as a professional, non partisan force is critical to stability.

12- As political leaders of a young nation we acknowledge that not all decisions made were all right and some created discontentment and were the source of the demonstrations in April, May, June and July of this year.

13- We are all interested in a profound and honest reflection on the causes of this crisis. The President of the Republic Xanana Gusmao, the Prime Minister Jose Ramos-Horta together with leaders of the Catholic Church and other religious denominations, will co-organize a national conference based on our culture and traditional values, whereby various actors, including civil and traditional society will participate.

[From here on he spoke in English]

Madame president

Distinguished delegates

14- As a post conflict country we have recently experienced a relapse of violence, due to institutional failures of our defence and police force, high level unemployment and wrong political decisions that we took as leaders of a new country. As a result of the violence we had almost 150 thousand internally displaced persons and almost one hundred deaths. Consequently the president of the Republic, H.E. Xanana Gusmao, the President of the Parliament, Francisco Lu Olo and the Prime Minister of the First Constitutional Government Mari Alkatiri, had to request for international help.

15- Immediately our closest neigbours, the United Nations, members of ASEAN, the CPLP-Portuguese speaking countries community and members of the Pacific Forum Islands extended their support in a variety of ways.

16- We would like to take this opportunity to thank Indonesia, Malaysia, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China, United States of America, Korea, Kuwait, the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries, the European Union and Cuba and many other countries for their invaluable support during the recent crisis in Timor-Leste.

17- We also welcome the establishment of the International Commission of Inquiry by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, to study the events surrounding the crisis and the allegations of human rights abuses.

We commend the members of the Security Council for their support for the creation of UNMIT pursuant to Resolution 1704/2006. We praise all United Nations and other international agencies currently based in Timor Leste. Without their support our response to the humanitarian crisis would not have been successful as it is today.

Madame president

Distinguished delegates,

18- The government is fully aware that reconciliation and justice need to be hand in hand with development. This fiscal year budget was increased by 122%. It focused on job creation not only in towns but fundamentally in rural areas, where the majority of our population lives. It is a pro poor budget.

19- We hope that this new economic policy, combined with policies of reconciliation and dialogue, will help defuse the tension and will bring common understanding and will reinvigorate the trust and confidence in our common and shared future.

20- As in difficult times in the past we are determined to succeed and bring to the people of Timor-Leste, once again, the stability and peace that we need to develop our country and improve the living conditions of our people. To help achieve this goal, we also need the support of the United Nations and international community at large in order to help organize and supervise the upcoming first legislative and presidential elections in our country. A free, transparent and fair election will definitely pave the way for a stable political and social environment.

Madame president,

Distinguished delegates

21- In the international arena, we have seen an increase in violence, wars and intolerance.

22- Last week in this Assembly on 21st of September, the President of Palestinian Authority H.E. Mohamed Abbas, made an appeal to the international community to not let the olive branch fall from his hand. The international community needs to continue its strong support for the forces of peace and moderation in Palestine, and the support to the President of Palestinian authority Mohamed Abbas, and to engage the elected Palestinian government in order to find ways to guarantee a free and democratic Palestine living side by side with the state of Israel in peace and harmony.

23- After many years of conflict and violence, the people of Lebanon need a peaceful environment; we hope that the arrival of United Nations forces will help protect its sovereignty and its territorial integrity.

In Darfur, Sudan we require the sustained attention of the international community in order to bring to the people of Sudan the peace and stability they need.

On Western Sahara we believe that a dialogue between the government of Morocco and the leaders of Polisario Front will help find a solution according to relevant United Nations resolutions.

24- As a small country we believe that multilateralism, dialogue, negotiations, democracy, human rights, the respect for the United Nations charter, and the respect for each other’s cultural and religious values are the best answer for today’s challenges and intolerance. We will continue to support all the initiatives such as interfaith cooperation and dialogue among civilizations.

Madame president

Distinguished delegates

25- After Monterey, Mexico conference in March 2002 many initiatives were taken in order to increase the financial resources to developing countries. One of these is the Millennium Challenge Account.

This year Timor-Leste was selected as a threshold country and we are working with Millennium Challenge Corporation members in order to benefit from these grant funds. 26- We commend President George W. Bush, his administration, and the people of the United States of America and our friends in the House and in the Senate for this great initiative. It will definitely help reduce poverty and to develop our and other countries in the developing world.

27- We commend also the European Union and its Commission president, Dr. Durão Barroso, for its continuing support for developing countries and for Timor-Leste.

28- As a least developed country and member of the 77 Group and China, we share the common view that the allocation of 0.7% of gross domestic product of developed countries to official development assistance is crucial, not only for development in the south, but also to maintain the stability, peace and progress in the world.

29- We also would like to welcome the recent initiative of Brasil and France to tax air travel in order to provide additional funds to financing development.

In conclusion,

Distinguished delegates

30- I would like to say a few words in our national language, in Tetum.

31- Ami hakarak hasa'e lia ba ita boot tomak katak rai Timor no nia ema, laran haksolok tanba ita boot sira no moos nai ulun tomak nia tulun, ba ami iha rai susar nia laran. (We would like to reiterate our thanks to all of you and to your people and government for your support during the crisis.)

32- Hau hakarak husu ba na'i Maromak atu tulun nafatin ita boot sira, nai ulun hotu, no mos rai no ema tomak. (I pray to God to continue to protect you, your government and your people.)

Thank you.

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